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Converted dual-acting hydraulic drilling jar
6135217 Converted dual-acting hydraulic drilling jar
Patent Drawings:Drawing: 6135217-2    Drawing: 6135217-3    Drawing: 6135217-4    Drawing: 6135217-5    Drawing: 6135217-6    Drawing: 6135217-7    Drawing: 6135217-8    
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(7 images)

Inventor: Wilson
Date Issued: October 24, 2000
Application: 09/233,008
Filed: January 19, 1999
Inventors: Wilson; Timothy L. (Houston, TX)
Assignee:
Primary Examiner: Bagnell; David J.
Assistant Examiner:
Attorney Or Agent: Arnold White & Durkee
U.S. Class: 166/178; 175/297
Field Of Search: 175/296; 175/297; 166/178
International Class:
U.S Patent Documents: 5086853; 5232060; 5318139
Foreign Patent Documents:
Other References:









Abstract: A jar up, bump down hydraulic drilling jar is described. A hydraulic tripping valve arrangement permits the storage of large amounts of static force before releasing a hammer to strike an anvil surface with substantial force. The hammer is positioned on the mandrel and interacts with the anvil surface in the housing to deliver upward jarring forces, to the drill string. During a downward jarring movement, the tripping valve is opened to prevent pressure buildup and accidental downward jarring; thus, a single-acting drilling jar is formed.
Claim: What is claimed is:

1. A hydraulic tripping valve for use in a hydraulic drilling jar consisting of a tubular mandrel, said valve comprising:

a) a first flange coupled to an interior surface of said tubular housing and extending to form first and second actuating surfaces on opposed surfaces of said first flange;

b) a first annular valve member positioned between said tubular mandrel and said tubular housing of said drilling jar and displaced a first distance from said first flange, said first annular valve member having a second flange extending towardsaid housing in overlapping relation with a first actuating surface on said first flange, and wherein said first annular valve member has an interior surface having a recess to expose a third actuating surface;

c) a second annular valve member positioned between said tubular mandrel and said tubular housing of said drilling jar and being in sealing relationship with said first annular valve member, said second annular valve member displaced a seconddistance from said first flange, wherein said second distance is larger than said first distance, said second annular valve member having a third flange extending toward said tubular housing in overlapping relation with said second actuating surface onsaid first flange, said second annular valve member having an interior surface having a recess to expose a fourth actuating surface, said first and second annular valve member recesses being formed adjacent and open to one another; and

d) an actuating mechanism coupled to and movable with said tubular mandrel, said actuating mechanism being positioned interior to said tripping valve and having a fourth flange extending into said first and second annular valve member recesses toform fifth and sixth actuating surfaces on opposed surfaces of said fourth flange, said actuating mechanism being positioned a third distance from said fifth actuating surface and a fourth distance from said sixth actuating surface, said third distancebeing essentially said same as said second distance, said first distance being essentially said same as said fourth distance, said fifth and sixth actuating surfaces being positioned in overlapping relation with said third and fourth actuating surfacesof said first and second annular members.

2. The tripping valve of claim 1 wherein said downward movement of said mandrel causes said fourth flange to engage said sixth actuating surface causing said second flange to be placed in contact with said first flange.

3. The tripping valve of claim 2 having an open and closed position and wherein said valve is moved to said open position when said second flange is placed in contact with said first flange.

4. The tripping valve of claim 3 wherein said ratio between said first and second distances is at least 2:1.

5. A hydraulic jar for connection in a drilling string comprising:

a) a tubular housing;

b) a tubular mandrel arranged for telescoping movement within said tubular housing and having a first flange coupled to an interior surface of said tubular housing and extending a preselected distance therein to form first and second actuatingsurfaces on opposed surfaces of said first flange;

c) a tripping valve, said tripping valve comprising:

i) a first annular valve member positioned diametrically between said mandrel and housing of said drilling jar and longitudinally displaced a first distance from said first flange, said first annular valve member having a second flange extendinga preselected radial distance therefrom toward said housing in overlapping relation with said first actuating surface on said first flange, said first annular valve member having a diametrically interior surface having a recess formed therein to expose athird actuating surface;

ii) a second annular valve member positioned diametrically between said mandrel and housing of said drilling jar and longitudinally adjacent and in sealing relationship with said first annular valve member and displaced a second distance fromsaid first flange, wherein said second distance is larger than said first distance, said second annular valve member having a third flange extending a preselected radial distance therefrom toward into said housing in overlapping relation with said secondactuating surface on said first flange, said second annular valve member having a diametrically interior surface having a recess formed therein to expose a fourth actuating surface, said first and second annular valve member recesses being formedadjacent and open to one another; and

d) an actuating mechanism coupled to and movable with said mandrel, said actuating mechanism being positioned diametrically interior to said tripping valve and having a fourth flange extending a preselected distance into said first and secondannular valve member recesses to form fifth and sixth actuating surfaces on opposed surfaces of said fourth flange, said actuating mechanism being positioned a third distance from said fifth actuating surface and a fourth distance from said sixthactuating surface, said third distance being essentially the same as said second distance, said first distance being essentially the same as said fourth distance, said fifth and sixth actuating surfaces being positioned in overlapping relation with saidthird and fourth actuating surfaces of said first and second annular members.

6. A conversion mechanism adaptable with a conventional dual-acting hydraulic drilling jar for converting said dual-acting hydraulic drilling jar into a single-acting hydraulic drilling jar consisting of a tubular mandrel, the mechanismcomprising:

1. a tubular housing,

2. a hydraulic chamber defined by a first and a second piston;

3. a tripping valve in contact with said hydraulic chamber, said tripping valve further comprising

a) a first flange coupled to an interior surface of said tubular housing and extending to form first and second actuating surfaces on opposed surfaces of said first flange;

b) a first annular valve member positioned between said tubular mandrel and said tubular housing of said drilling jar and displaced a first distance from said first flange, said first annular valve member having a second flange extending towardsaid housing in overlapping relation with a first actuating surface on said first flange, and wherein said first annular valve member has an interior surface having a recess to expose a third actuating surface;

c) a second annular valve member positioned between said tubular mandrel and said tubular housing of said drilling jar and being in sealing relationship with said first annular valve member, said second annular valve member displaced a seconddistance from said first flange, wherein said second distance is larger than said first distance, said second annular valve member having a third flange extending toward said tubular housing in overlapping relation with said second actuating surface onsaid first flange, said second annular valve member having an interior surface having a recess to expose a fourth actuating surface, said first and second annular valve member recesses being formed adjacent and open to one another; and

d) an actuating mechanism coupled to and movable with said tubular mandrel, said actuating mechanism being positioned interior to said tripping valve and having a fourth flange extending into said first and second annular valve member recesses toform fifth and sixth actuating surfaces on opposed surfaces of said fourth flange, said actuating mechanism being positioned a third distance from said fifth actuating surface and a fourth distance from said sixth actuating surface, said third distancebeing essentially said same as said second distance, said first distance being essentially said same as said fourth distance, said fifth and sixth actuating surfaces being positioned in overlapping relation with said third and fourth actuating surfacesof said first and second annular members.

7. The tripping valve of claim 6 wherein said downward movement of said mandrel causes said fourth flange to engage said sixth actuating surface causing said second flange to be placed in contact with said first flange.

8. The tripping valve of claim 7 having an open and closed position and wherein said valve is moved to said open position when said second flange is placed in contact with said first flange.

9. The tripping valve of claim 8 wherein said ratio between said first and second distances is at least 2:1.
Description: BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The invention relates in general to the field of drilling equipment and, more particularly, to the use of dual-acting hydraulic drilling jars. Specifically, the invention relates to the conversion of a bidirectional, dual-acting drilling jar toa single-acting drilling jar.

The jar is normally placed in the pipe string in the region of the lodged object and allows the drilling rig operator at the surface to deliver an impact to the fish through manipulation of the drill pipe string. Jars contain a spline jointwhich allows relative axial movement between an inner mandrel or housing and an outer housing without allowing relative rotational movement. The mandrel or inner housing contains an impact surface or hammer which contacts a similar impact surface oranvil on the housing when the jar has reached the limit of axial travel. If these impact surfaces are brought together at high velocity, they transmit a very substantial impact to the fish due to the mass of the drill pipe above the jar.

Most drilling jobs require that both an upward and downward jar be available in the drilling string. For example, during the drilling of an oil or gas well, the pipe may become stuck due to hole sloughing or differential pressure sticking suchthat it would be desirable to jar the pipe upward. The pipe may also become lodged in a keyseat while "tripping" (i.e., removing the pipe from the well bore) in which case it would be desirable to jar downward on the stuck point. Bi-directionalhydraulic drilling jars are used for such a purpose and are described in U.S. Pat. No. 4,361,195, issued Nov. 30, 1982, and U.S. Pat. No. 5,086,853, issued Feb. 11, 1992, both to Robert W. Evans, which are hereby incorporated by reference in theirentirety.

More particularly, U.S. Pat. No. 4,361,195 describes an annular tripping valve that cooperates with a pair of control arms to provide the "dual action." As shown in FIG. 1, the drilling jar of U.S. Pat. No. 4,361,195 is connected in a drillstring at its upper threaded opening 2 and connected to a bottom hole assembly to which a jarring action is to be applied at its lower threaded connection 4 or sub 6. To provide a downward jarring function, tension force is released from the upper drillpipe, thereby placing it under compression. This, in turn, applies a compressive force downward against mandrel 8 and attempts to move the mandrel downward in relation to housing 10. The initial downward movement of mandrel 8 occurs relatively freely,with the movement being a sliding movement relative to housing 10 and to pressure pistons 12 and 14. During this phase of movement, shoulder 16 of sleeve member 18 is brought into engagement with the top surface of pressure piston 12. At this point,further movement of mandrel 8 will cause shoulder 16 to move pressure piston 12 downward inside fluid pressure chamber 22. Thus, the movement causes pressure piston 12 to move away from shoulder 20 on which it is positioned when the apparatus is in theneutral position shown in FIG. 1.

Such movement of pressure piston 12 by shoulder 16 of mandrel 8 causes actuating members or control arms 24 to move the end flange portion 26 until it engages the end flange 28 on tripping valve member 30. Further movement of pressure piston 12will cause tripping valve member 30 to be moved while maintaining the same relative position to valve opening 32. As tripping valve member 30 moves downward, tripping valve member 34 follows valve member 30 in downward movement under the influence ofspring 36 and the elevated pressure in chamber 22 compresses both valve parts tightly together. When the valve member 34 is moved downwardly by the pressure in chamber 22 and spring 36 (i.e., following the movement of valve member 30 by control arm 24),valve member 34 is moved relative to control arm 40 extending from lower pressure piston 14. The end flange 42 of control arm 40 remains in a stationary position, while valve member 34 moves past it, until end flange 44 of valve member 34 engages flange42. At this point, any further movement of pressure piston 12 toward piston 14 will cause the relative movement of control arms 40 and 24 to begin to separate the valve members 34 and 30 which comprise tripping valve 46.

Up to this point, the relative movement of pressure piston 12, pressure piston 14, and control arms 24 and 40 has been described as if the movement were unobstructed. It should be noted, however, that fluid pressure chamber 22, which is enclosedby pressure pistons 12 and 14, as well as tripping valve 46, is a completely closed chamber except for the very small opening or orifice 48 through piston 12. The downward movement of piston 12 pressurizes the hydraulic fluid in chamber 22. The fluidpressure resists movement of the piston. As the compressive force applied to mandrel 8 is increased by the weight applied by the drill string above the drilling jar, the hydraulic pressure in fluid chamber 22 increases as a result of the load imposed onpressure piston 12. The check valve 50 in pressure piston 14 prevents the flow of fluid outward through piston 14. The closed valve members 34 and 30 of tripping valve 46 also prevent the flow of hydraulic fluid from the chamber at that point. Itshould be noted that the closed valve members 34 and 30 are urged into tighter closure due to the elevated pressure in chamber 22 acting on an annular area from the valve seal point to the outer surface 52 of sleeve 54. The only point of exit of fluidfrom chamber 22 during this phase of operation is through the very small bleed passage 48 in piston 12. The size of bleed passage 48 is such that the hydraulic fluid can flow through it at a very slow rate only when subjected to a relatively highpressure.

As the force applied to pressure piston 12 increases, piston 12 tends to move downward in chamber 22, however, it is resisted by the fluid in the chamber and can move only as fluid leaves through orifice 48. The fluid in chamber 22 is thereforemaintained under a very high pressure and, as piston 12 moves slowly downwardly to maintain the pressure in chamber 22, fluid flows from chamber 22 through opening 48. When pressure piston 12 has moved downward to the point where end flanges 26 and 42of control arms 24 and 40 have reached engagement with the end flanges 44 and 28 of valve members 34 and 30 and forced the valve members to separate, the hammer 56 on mandrel 8 has moved only a fraction of the distance downward toward anvil 58. At thispoint, mandrel 8 is under a very high compressive force applied by the drill string above and will release that force to move hammer 56 at a high speed and with a high impact against anvil 58 whenever the resistance to further movement is released.

Further downward movement of pressure piston 12 relative to piston 14 will cause the end flanges 26 and 42 of control arms 24 and 40 to move valve members 34 and 30 apart to open the tripping valve 46. When the tripping valve 46 is opened, thefluid in hydraulic fluid chamber 22 is permitted to flow out through the opened tripping valve 46, opening 32, and the various passages to the various fluid chambers which are not under elevated pressure. Thus, when tripping valve 46 is opened, thefluid in chamber 22 can flow through passages 60 and 62 into fluid chamber 64 located above the downwardly moving pressure piston 12. Fluid is also free to move from chamber 22 through passage 60 downwardly into fluid chamber 66 above pressure balancingpiston 68. This sudden release of fluid from chamber 22 releases virtually all resistance to downward movement of pressure piston 12. At this point, piston 12 moves rapidly downward under the influence of the high potential energy built up by thecompression and weight of the drill string. The rapid downward movement of piston 12 allows mandrel 8 to move along with it very rapidly and causes hammer 56 to bring hammer face 70 into engagement with anvil surface 58 with a very high impact force. For the sake of brevity, the description of upward jarring, which is quite similar to downward jarring is described in detail in U.S. Pat. No. 4,361,195, and is incorporated here by reference.

U.S. Pat. No. 5,086,853 describes a hydraulic tripping valve in a drilling jar that cooperates with alternating pairs of flanges to provide both upward and downward jarring. The jar of U.S. Pat. No. 5,086,853 is shown in FIG. 2. Asdiscussed in conjunction with the jar of U.S. Pat. No. 4,361,195, mandrel 72 and, consequently, actuating mechanism 76, move downward relative to housing 74.

Mandrel 72 moves sufficiently downward so that flange 76 is longitudinally moved and contacts actuating surface 78 of valve member 80, at which point, neither of valve members 82, 80 of tripping valve 84 are longitudinally displaced by movementof mandrel 72. Also, coil springs 86, 88 will generally maintain the position of tripping valve 84 at its central location in chamber 90.

As mandrel 72 and flange 76 move further downward, they will carry with them tripping valve 84. At this point, valve members 82, 80 will still have not separated, owing to the force of coil springs 86, 88, combined with the rising internalpressure of chamber 90. It will be appreciated that the downward movement of mandrel 72 carries with it upper piston 92, thereby reducing the volume of chamber 90 and, consequently, increasing the internal pressure. The internal pressure of chamber 90acts against the outer surfaces of the valve members 82, 80 and urges them together to maintain their closed position. The tripping valve 84 is carried downward to a point where flange 94 on the valve member 82 engages flange 96 of housing 74.

Continual downward movement of mandrel 72 and flange 76 forces valve members 82, 80 into their separated or "open" position. The upper valve member 82 is restrained against further downward movement by the interaction of flange 94 and housingflange 96. However, further downward movement of mandrel 72 forces flange 76 against actuating surface 78 of lower valve member 80, causing it to separate from upper valve member 82. With high pressure chamber 90 opened to passages 98, hydraulic fluidquickly flows out of chamber 90 and reduces the pressure therein. With the pressure in chamber 90 substantially reduced, downward movement of the mandrel relative to housing 74 is no longer resisted by a substantial force. Thus, mandrel 72 now movesrapidly downward into housing 74 causing hammer 100 to sharply strike lower anvil surface 102. In contrast, an upward jarring action begins by mandrel 72 being withdrawn or pulled upward and out of housing 74. The upward jarring motion is similar tothe downward jarring motion except flanges 104, 96 and 76 are used as described in detail in the U.S. Pat. No. 5,086,853 patent.

A drill string in a well is typically several thousand feet in length. Gravity acts on the drill string causing a downward force to be placed on the drill string; the downward force of gravity is countered by an upward force exerted by theobject that is holding the drill string. The two opposing forces causes the portion of the drill string above the neutral point to be stretched (i.e., have a tensile force applied). In contrast, the bottom hole assembly (i.e., the portion of the drillstring below the neutral point which contains the drilling bit) is constantly encountering undrilled formations. The resistance of formations to movement results in an upward force being placed on the drill bit; the force of gravity

associated with the weight of the bottom hole assembly exerts a downward force on the drill bit. These two opposing forces cause the bottom hole assembly to be in compression.

If a drilling jar is to be placed in the bottom hole assembly close to the drill bit, the ability to have a single-acting drilling jar becomes desirable. Typically, drilling jars have a maximum pressure that must be met in order for them to"cock" (i.e., prepare to exert an impact). When drilling jars are placed in the bottom hole assembly, the jar experiences the compressive forces associated with that region. The ratio of the compressive forces to the area is equivalent to pressure; ifthe pressure from compressive forces becomes greater than the pressure requirement for "cocking", the jar will prepare to exert a downward jar. When an unexpected downward jar occurs in the bottom hole assembly, there can be major repercussions. Forexample, it may be undesirable to jar downward when drilling in a hard formation because of possibly damaging the drill bit.

The present invention is directed towards overcoming some of the disadvantages of she prior art by providing a drilling jar that jars in the upward direction and only "bumps" in the downward direction.

SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The invention relates to the conversion of a dual-acting hydraulic drilling jar to a single-acting drilling jar. A hydraulic tripping valve arrangement permits the storage of large amounts of static force before releasing a hammer to strike ananvil surface with substantial force. The hammer is positioned on a mandrel and interacts with anvil surfaces in the housing to deliver upward jarring forces to the drill string. During a downward movement, the tripping valve is opened to preventpressure buildup and accidental downward jarring; thus, a single-acting drilling jar is formed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a first conventional dual-acting drilling jar.

FIG. 2 illustrates a second conventional dual-acting drilling jar.

FIG. 3 illustrates a first embodiment of a hydraulic drilling jar in accordance with the invention.

FIGS. 4A and 4B illustrate enlarged views of the piston shown in FIG. 3.

FIG. 4C illustrates the enlarged view of FIG. 4A sectioned at a different point on the circumference of the hydraulic drilling jar of the invention.

FIG. 4D illustrates an embodiment of the invention as shown in FIG. 4A wherein the rod and bumper plate are connected to form one object.

FIG. 5 illustrates a second embodiment of a hydraulic drilling jar in accordance with the invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates an enlarged view of the tripping valve shown in FIG. 5.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SPECIFIC EMBODIMENTS

Overview

FIGS. 3 and 4 illustrate two embodiments of a dual-acting hydraulic drilling jar converted to a single acting (jar up, bump down) drilling jar in accordance with this invention. This invention, therefore, can be designed for use with either oneof the prior art hydraulic drilling jars shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. The invention results in single-acting jars which jar upward and "bump" downward, rather than jar up and jar down. As known in the art, a "bump" refers to mechanical movement that occurswithout significant amounts of pressure. Jar up, bump down jars have certain advantages, i.e., it enables a drill string to be replaced without possibly damaging portions of the bottom hole assembly because of an unexpected downward jar.

A First Embodiment

In a first embodiment shown in FIG. 3, a hydraulic drilling jar with actuating arms is shown. The major components of this drilling jar (i.e., the mandrel, hammer, and anvil) function the same way they do in prior art drilling jars such as theone depicted in FIG. 1. However, this embodiment has a conversion mechanism which features a newly designed lower piston 108. An enlarged view of piston 108 is shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B. Piston 108 includes a spring 110, a rod 112, and a bump plate114.

When mandrel 116 of the jar is pushed downward, as in the case of insertion of the pipe string in a well, piston 108 moves towards the actuating surface 118 of housing member 120. The longer leg 122 of bumper plate 114 engages actuating surface118 as shown in FIG. 4A. FIG. 4C illustrates flow holes 200 in the bumper plate 114. It will be appreciated by those of skill in the art that the flow holes are not shown in FIG. 4A based on the position of the sectional view. One skilled in the artwill appreciate that when the jar is in the neutral position, piston 108 also engages the actuating surface 118 of the housing 120. The bumper plate 114 engages rod 112 which, in turn, compresses spring 110. It will be appreciated by those of skill inthe art that rod 112 and bumper plate 114 may be separate objects, as shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B, or may be connected to form one object as shown in FIG. 4D. Compression of spring 110 holds check valve 111 open which does not allow pressure to build up;the check valve causes the tripping valve (not shown) to open, enabling the fluid in the pressure chamber to escape. The escape of fluid prevents pressure build up in the chamber even though it is being compressed, thereby preventing a jarring action inthe downward direction.

In contrast, when the mandrel 116 is pulled upward it engages the spacer 123 which engages piston 108 without engaging the bumper plate 114 because of the length differential between the two legs of the bumper plate; this length differentialallows the check valve to close. The movement of the piston 108 causes a volume reduction in the hydraulic chamber which causes pressure to build inside of the chamber. Since only a small amount of liquid is leaking through an upper piston, pressurebuilds until the tripping valve opens, thereby causing the pipe string to jar upward.

A Second Embodiment

In a second embodiment shown in FIG. 5, a hydraulic drilling jar with a conversion mechanism including a redesigned tripping valve 124 composed of alternate pairs of flanges is shown. As in the first embodiment, the major components of thedrilling jar function the same way as prior art drilling jars, particularly the prior art jar shown in FIG. 2. An enlarged view of the tripping valve 124 is shown in FIG. 6.

Referring to FIG. 6, the second embodiment includes a first pair of flanges 126 and 128 are used in downward jarring. The distance between flange 126 and flange 130 is essentially the same as the distance between flange 128 and actuating surface132 which is shown as A. During downward jarring, the mandrel 134 is depressed causing the flange 128 to engage the actuating surface 132 after moving a distance shown as A. Continued downward motion of the mandrel causes flange 128 to push actuatingsurface 132 causing the entire tripping valve to move downward such that flange 126 engages flange 130. Any further motion by the mandrel will cause the tripping valve to open, releasing liquid from the hydraulic chamber; this prevents pressurebuild-up. In this embodiment, mandrel 134 moves a distance A until it engages actuating surface 132, and then further moves a distance C until flange 126 engages flange 130, at which point, the tripping valve is open to release the hydraulic liquid. Such a pressure release reduces the likelihood of downward jarring when the pipe string is being re-inserted into the well.

In contrast, when mandrel 134 is pulled upward, flange 128 engages actuating surface 136 causing the tripping valve to move upward. Additional movement causes tripping valve to further move, thus enabling flange 138 to engage flange 130 after adistance shown as B. One skilled in the art will realize that the movement of the flanges is a result of the movement of a pressure piston (not shown). Additional movement by mandrel 134 causes the tripping valve to open, thereby causing an upwardjarring motion. The distance between flange 130 and flange 138, which is shown as B, is essentially the same as the distance between flange 128 and actuating surface 136. The difference between distances A and B enables an upward jar to occur whileonly allowing for a downward bumping action to occur. The actual dimensional values, as well as the ratios (e.g., two to one), of A to B can be selected to meet specific drilling needs.

It will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art having the benefit of this disclosure that numerous variations from the foregoing illustration will be possible without departing from the inventive concept described therein. Accordingly, it is the claims set forth below, and not merely the foregoing illustration, which are intended to define the exclusive rights claimed.

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